Autodesk Impression – anyone use it?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GRAPHICS Autodesk Impression – anyone use it?

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    Paul Stafford

    I just made reference to this on a post about Sketchup and thought I would create a new post rather than hijacking that one.

    Video – AutoDesk Impression

    Autodesk Impression seemed like it could be a great solution for quickly producing such graphics when it first appeared. I’ve tried it a few times over the years but never really got it to work consistently.

    Lots of crashes and lack of support has made it too hard to use with any confidence. I’m not sure what Autodesk’s aim for it is long term but it would be nice to see it developed further as I think it would be a really nice solution for graphics output from AutoCAD.

    Does anyone here use it? How have you found it?


    Paul Stafford

    Matthew Latham

    My experience has been the same as yours.  I’ve found using Photoshop to be much easier.

    Jason T. Radice

    If you are looking for something with similar capabilities that actually works (quite well, in fact), check out M-Color.

    Once you get it set up and learn how it works, it plots CAD plans into color renderings near instantly. Makes great and tiny PDFs of those plans, too. I used it for years at one of my former employers and it was very productive.


    Paul Stafford

    Thanks Matthew. I know a lot of people that use Photoshop too. I’ve just found the process a little longer than I’d like, though gets great results.

    Thanks Jason. Yes I know M-Color…I used it ages ago and had forgotten about it. I’ll have another look because my memory of it was it was pretty quick with good output.


    Paul Stafford


    I use it on occasion, mainly for bubble diagrams and simple plan concepts.  Easy to use and I like the watercolor fill options (as somebody who used the old Squiggle software from the early 90s)

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    I used M-Color a bit several years ago. I tried Impressions, but found it too cartoony. For big site plans I just use solid color hatching. I have added color hatching to plant symbol blocks to use as well. It is just quick down and dirty to present commercial plans without a lot of detail.


    Either of them requires closed polylines which can be the most time consuming part of it. You also have to keep on top of your layering and “drawing order”.

    Paul Stafford

    I think I’m going to stick with M-Color. Have found it more stable than Impression – and it seems to be well supported…unlike Impression.

    The closed polylines aren’t a concern as I would be creating them anyway to use in the hatch plans when the project gets to documentation phase. Yes layering and draw order are key.

    Paul Stafford


    Photoshop and SketchUP – Definitely these two programs are the best to design. Check it out on my blog. 

    William J. Blount

    I use Impression fairly regularly.  On a more powerful machine it seems to be more stable, but still glitchy.  I’ll have to check out m-color, I hadn’t heard of that before, but I’ve been looking for a more stable platform that is a little less cartoonish.

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